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Strategic Planning Resource Center for Community Colleges

The creation of a three- to five-year strategic plan is an important, yet complex activity for community college leaders. A strong strategic plan sets college priorities and aligns stakeholders, faculty, and staff to institutional goals.

While strategic planning is critically important, it is too often a drawn-out process that loses impact and energy over time. Institutions that miss the mark on strategic planning run the risk of wasting time, stalling institutional momentum, and yielding faculty distrust.

Rather than engaging in a periodic “check the box” update for external stakeholders, we recommend colleges follow this step by step process to take the guesswork out and foster a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. Use these resources to simplify the pre-work and streamline implementation of your strategic plan.

Phase 1: Preparation

Shifts in budgetary and political climates require college leaders to stay informed of two-year trends when devising broad-level institutional strategies. Consult the resources below to prepare and engage stakeholders for the planning process.

Audit your financial dashboard for clarity
To help financial leaders better communicate financial information to key stakeholders, use this three-step process to design and deploy impactful board-facing dashboards.

Orient internal and external stakeholders
These board-ready slides can be incorporated into a presentation to inform stakeholders of upcoming changes in the two-year sector and forecast how these opportunities will impact your institution in 2018 and beyond.

Phase 2: Development

To streamline the planning process, colleges must organize and assess past performance relative to regional market demands and sector-level trends. Use the following resources to produce strategic plans that are differentiated, accessible, and actionable.

Effectively lead planning sessions
When executed effectively, strategic planning retreats can help institutions organize the planning process, engage cross-campus stakeholders, and define measurable goals. Maximize the impact of your strategic planning retreat with this checklist of key action steps.

Structure your institution’s strategic plan
These customizable slides offer templates to create actionable, measurable goals that are aligned with institutional priorities. Use this resource to map key steps and considerations as well as track ongoing progress with plan implementation.

Phase 3: Implementation

Once your institution has devised its plan, a streamlined implementation process ensures that the college’s vision translates to sound strategic direction for all stakeholders. The Community College Executive Forum can partner with your institution to help you gauge progress and maximize the effectiveness of the strategic plan.

For assistance implementing your strategic plan, please contact us for strategic plan mapping guidance.

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